One family faces the music as Geva Theatre Center's 40th Anniversary Season continues with Next to Normal with music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and directed by Scott Schwartz. This landmark musical begins performances on January 8 and runs in the Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage through February 10.
Diana seems to have it all: a handsome, loving husband and two talented, teenage children. It is soon obvious, however, that life for Diana is far more difficult than it seems. She has been dealing with severe depression and delusions since tragedy struck her marriage nearly 16 years earlier. As she continues to seek countless treatments, medications and therapies to help her return to a normal life, her family begins finding their own desperate ways to deal with her illness and their own loss. Featuring an electrifying contemporary score of more than 30 songs, this groundbreaking, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is an emotional powerhouse.
Next to Normal began life in 1998 as a ten-minute workshop sketch called Feeling Electric. By 2002, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey had expanded it to a full-length musical and, after a series of workshops over the ensuing five years; Next to Normal was ready for its Off-Broadway debut in 2008. It was subsequently rewritten and re-launched later that year at Arena Stage in Washington, DC where it received rave reviews. The show transferred to Broadway's Booth Theatre in March 2009 where it set box office records and played for over 750 performances. Next to Normal was nominated for eleven 2009 Tony Awards, garnering three, including Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. It won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and it is only the eighth musical to do so. In awarding the 2010 prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals." According to Theatre Communications Group, Next to Normal is the most produced musical during the 2012-2013 regional theatre season.
Geva's production of Next to Normal features Catherine Porter (Broadway's Next to Normal, West End and Australian productions of Sunset Boulevard (the latter opposite Hugh Jackman), the international tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (opposite Michael Crawford)) as Diana; Broadway veteran Bob Gaynor (Broadway's Leap of Faith, Catch Me If You Can, Sweet Charity, Boy George's Taboo and Elton John's Aida) as her husband, Dan; and Cary Tedder (Original Broadway casts of The Times They Are A-Changin' and Memphis) as their son, Gabe. The ensemble cast includes Jordan Craig (Henry), Lyndsay Ricketson (Natalie), and Googie Uterhardt (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden).
Next to Normal is a co-production with the Tony Award-winning ALLIANCE THEATRE of Atlanta and is directed by Scott Schwartz, who returns to Geva where he directed the world premiere of ROOMS: A Rock Romance (2008-2009 Season). The musical director is Don Kot with choreography by Michael Jenkinson, and the design team includes Kevin Rigdon (scenic design), Sydney Roberts (costume design), Mike Baldassari (lighting design) and Clay Benning (sound design).